#111 It's the Cheese

Stuffed Blue-Cheese Sirloin Burgers With Apple and Bacon – For a Crowd (Yields: 4 servings)

For this recipe you will need:

• 4 lbs. ground beef sirloin
• 1 red onion, finely chopped
• 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
• 8 oz. Blue cheese, preferably Stilton or Roquefort
• 12 slices bacon, apple smoked
• 2 Fuji apples
• 2 1/2 cups arugula leaves, loosely packed
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 24 mini buns
• Salt and pepper

Preheat a grill or skillet over a medium-high flame, wiping down the grate or the skillet with olive oil before heating.

Cook the bacon in a dry skillet over medium heat. When done to your liking, place on paper towels to drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, chopped onions, thyme leaves, and pepper. Mix well using your hands. Form into 48 thin patties. Create small craters in the center of half of the patties, leaving an edge of about 1/4 inch all the way around and place a small dollop of blue cheese in the center. Place a second patty over the first pattypinching the sides together. Make sure the cheese stuffing is completely covered. Season the mini burgers with salt and pepper on both sides.

If cooking the burgers on a grill, brush them lightly with oil. If using a skillet, add 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet. Cook the burgers about two minutes per side until cooked thoroughly and an internal temperature of 160º F. is reached.

Note: Be gentle when you turn each burger so that it does not break open.Thinly slice the apple and top each burger with the slices just before removing from the heat. Toast the buns and cover the bottom half of each bun with a few leaves of arugula. Top with the burgers, then the bacon and the top half of the bun. Serve immediately.

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